The Office of the Vice President and Makati city government has dispatched a K9 and rescue team to assist in the retrieval efforts in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

“Umaasa po kami na ang K9 unit na pupunta ng Negros ay makakatulong sa retrieval operations lalo na dun sa mga biktima ng landslide,” Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said.

“Muli, umaapela po kami sa ating mga kababayan na huwag mag-panic dahil normal lang po ang after shocks pagkatapos ng lindol. Handa po ang pamahalaan na tumulong sa inyong malampasan ang trahedyang ito,” he added.

The two K9 teams are composed of 6 extrication experts, 2 dogs and 4 handlers from the Philippine Search and Rescue Foundation and Makati K9/Rescue Unit. They are equipped with a search camera and portable hydraulic equipment.

The team had participated in retrieval operations in other calamity-hit areas, among them the landslide in Guinsaugon, Leyte last 2006.

They are set to leave for Dumaguete on Thursday via C-130 aircraft provided by the Philippine Army and are expected to help in the retrieval operations in Bgy. Planas, Guihulngan City.

The Vice President also said that relief goods are also en route to Negros Oriental.

To date, the Office of the Vice President have sent 292 boxes of water each to the provincial government of Negros Oriental and the local government of Guihulngan. 50 sacks of rice were also distributed in Guihulngan and 15 sacks were distributed in Jimalalud.

The Vice President on Tuesday flew to Negros Oriental to extend his condolences to the victims of Monday’s earthquake and assess the damage to the province.

Binay conducted an aerial inspection of the affected region and met with Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, Governor Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental, Guihulngan Mayor Ernesto Reyes and Central Command chief, Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva.